By Ayo Alonge and Sijibomi Fatayo Tope Agbeyo is Chairman, Cornfield Group, which comprises Media Concepts International Limited, Botosoft Technologies Limited, Cornfield Transnational Limited and FOAM Studio Nigeria Limited. According to the Ekiti born business mogul, his success in business, over the years, is only a result of his passionate quest to meet basic needs…
Dating is not easy. You get to put up with a lot of things before finally settling for the one. It can be a total nightmare when you get hooked up with someone who is rude, obnoxious, or just not your type, but it can be a real nightmare if you don’t take proper safety precautions and end up in a position where you can be assaulted or kidnapped.
Everyone takes some risks when it comes to finding love, but taking risks that will put you in physical danger is unacceptable. With the many social media platforms we have today, it can be possible that you may be going out on a date with someone you have been chatting up online for months without truly knowing them or what they are capable of.
Looks can be deceiving, so you have to be concerned about your safety while going on a date because you are making yourself extremely vulnerable to a stranger. The guidelines below will help you negotiate the online dating process leading up to your first meeting.
Follow these rules of thumb when you are getting to know someone new.
Let your loved ones know where you are going
Always let roommates, friends and family members know when you plan to go out on a date. Give all the proper information about where you are going, who you are going with (including your date’s name and phone number) and when you expect to be home. If anything changes regarding your whereabouts during the course of the evening, let them know right away.
Provide your own transportation
When you’re meeting up with someone you don’t know very well, provide your own transportation. Don’t hope your date will do that for you and it’s a life-saving idea. Doing this will not only provide you with a quick getaway if things get weird, but you will also keep your home address hidden from your date until you get to know them well.
Meet in a public place
For safety purposes, don’t ever invite someone you hardly know over to your house, or go over to theirs. Meet in a public place at a time when many people are around. Going to a popular eatery or shopping mall where a lot of other people will be present is a fine choice.
Not only will this decrease your chances of being put in an unsafe situation, but other people may also remember you being in that location, in the event something does happen to you.
Don’t leave your food or drink unattended
Some rape date drugs which you have probably heard of by now are odourless, colourless and can make you disoriented or unconscious. No woman prays to meet with a rapist but these things happen, so you have to be safety conscious. Don’t accept a drink from your date unless you open it yourself or watch it being prepared by a bartender. Don’t leave your food and drinks unattended to. It is not a safe move. Be alert.
Limit alcohol consumption or avoid it totally
It is not a great idea to drink more than one or two beverages while out with someone you don’t know very well. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and makes it easier for a potential predator to talk you into leaving a public place. Dating can be awkward and it’s easy to fall back on a little social lubrication to keep conversation flowing easier but be wise about what you take or avoid alcohol totally.
Don’t give out your personal info
Guard your personal contact information on any dating or social networking site. If you are using an online dating website, you can choose to have the individual respond to the site, rather than your email address or you can set up an email address specifically for this purpose. You can give out your phone number when you are both ready to meet but nothing more. Don’t divulge your address or other key personal information to this stranger. Don’t go into a car alone with your date too.
Arrange for your loved ones to call during your date
Arrange for a family member or a friend to call you during your date. This will give your loved ones peace of mind. It will also make clear to your date that you are not entirely alone or vulnerable.
As you go on your next date with a stranger, don’t feel embarrassed about taking these precautions. Using precautions and good judgment will free you up to enjoy the fun, excitement and entertaining more.